For one, they defeated a team with a winning record on the road. Some may argue and have argued about the Lakers being a good team given their recent troubles, yet the Lakers are still a good team with two of the top 20 players in the NBA.
Secondly, the Pacers hung on to a lead in a tough environment two time-zones away. While most teams would have wilted after their starting center Roy Hibbert suffered a broken nose, Indiana played on to erase a 13-point deficit at the end of the first quarter.
Results in that game should remind us how good the Pacers can be if—if they make one move.
Granger, a New Orleans-native, is not about to be packaged up in a deal for anyone not considered an upper-echelon player. It's a move the NBA commissioner David Stern would block anyway—citing the league owners would not agree to the deal.
That deal would cripple both teams for these reasons: Gordon is short for a shooting guard and the Pacers have Paul George.
In my opinion, George is a player who could be on the verge of a breakout stretch at any moment.
The deal that I would make would be: Pacers trade G Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones, along with a future draft pick to the Sacramento Kings for Tyreke Evans.
Evans is a player who could use a change of scenery; perhaps, a move would revitalize his career. Although he is more of a combo guard, Evans is a more than capable ball-handler and passer.
He is more of a shoot-first point guard who doesn't quite fit the mold, but his addition adds more scoring to a team that needs the fire-power. Evans has active hands on defense. He is big enough at 6'5" to guard the strong point guards in the Eastern Conference.
Sacramento should do this because Collison is a solid point guard more suitable for the running offensive-style the Kings play. Dahntay Jones would give the Kings toughness and the roster flexibility going forward.
Miami Chicago Indiana
G Mario Chalmers Derrick Rose Tyreke Evans
G Dwayne Wade Richard Hamilton Paul George
C Joel Anthony Joakim Noah Roy Hibbert
F LeBron James Luol Deng Danny Granger
F Chris Bosh Carlos Boozer David West
The Pacers potential starting five would rival the top-two teams in the East. Indiana has played the Bulls and Heat tough the last two seasons. It would also give them a leg up on the Magic, Hawks and 76er's—thus giving a top-three seed in the NBA playoffs.
Will a trade such as this happen?
While I am not sure, it is a fair trade for both teams involved and it would complete the Pacers.
If I were Larry Bird, I would be on the phone right now.